How to Prep Your Brand’s Podcast for YouTube

Because if you’re going to do it, you should plan to do it well.

There are lots of compelling reasons to put your podcast on YouTube, and once you’ve decided to get on board, you have some big decisions to make. 

Yes, this is a platform that shows massive potential for your brand’s podcast… 

But it also takes time and frontend investment — and we don’t want you to waste either. Bottom line? You need a solid plan before you move forward. 

There’s a right and a wrong way to do this, and several approaches to choose from if you plan to do it well. 

We’re here to help you find the right path for your brand, budget, and long-term goals. 

Below, we tackle these key questions… 

Clearly, there’s no time to waste, so let’s dive in.

What do other YouTube podcasts look like?

Some of the hit podcasts shared on YouTube feature full-on video recorded in studio with professional camerawork and lighting.

Examples include shows like…

On the other hand, a lot of the podcasts you’ll find on YouTube take a more minimal approach, pairing audio with static (or virtually static) visuals. 

Imagine a single title card, or a soundwave that undulates as the guest and host chat.While we do recommend more than a static image to make the most of the platform, it’s clear you don’t need Rogan-level production for a successful YouTube show.

What format should you choose?

Obviously, your format will depend on your budget, your bandwidth, and the skillset of your production team — but there are a few other things you’ll want to consider.

First off, even the folks who prefer using YouTube to consume their favorite podcasts aren’t necessarily watching the content you create. 

Like most podcast listeners, they love to multitask.

In fact, a recent study showed that more than half of the US respondents who prefer video alongside their podcast will still minimize it or “leave it on the background.”

Bearing this in mind, it seems clear that appearing on YouTube, with or without in-studio footage, could be more than enough for your audience.

That said, there are a few big draws that come with either approach. 

Benefits of in-studio video 

If you have a particularly devoted community surrounding your show, the face time video creates (between your host and viewers) could make that connection stronger.

It may also help to “celebritize” your host and build a more invested, engaged following — especially if you’re targeting a younger audience

This type of production may also have the most appeal for folks that are explicitly looking for something to watch, or who don’t identify as podcast listeners. 

Perks of a different approach 

While in-studio video is unlikely to hurt your series, there are a few key reasons why you might choose another route.

They include…

  • Budget and bandwidth restrictions
  • A remote recording process
  • And of course, your episode rollout schedule

Also, some folks — especially diehard podcast fans — will argue that audio is uniquely engaging, and that video could distract from the “meat” of your show.

Can you work with audio you’ve already recorded?

The answer to this question is probably already clear, but we’re going to go with a “yes” on this one.

You can share your episodes on YouTube at the time of their initial release, or well after the fact if you decide to try the platform mid-show.

Whether the rollout is simultaneous or not, YouTube will help you cast a wider net, and if you play your cards right, capture more of your ideal audience members.

What kind of visuals can replace in-studio video?

There are plenty of options here, and we invite you to get creative.

You may want to feature a transcript, helpful notes, infographics, related video content, appropriate URLs, or headshots of your guest and host.

The opportunities are endless, but if you choose to get creative, the focus should be on adding value without distracting from the content of your show.

What equipment do you need?

Again, this depends on the approach you take, but if you decide to go with traditional video, we wouldn’t recommend using webcam footage in the “talking head” style.

YouTube is an extremely competitive space, and if you want to make a good impression, quality matters. 

You’ll need an appropriate set, professional lighting, tripods, microphones, and of course, at least one camera. 

Need something to aspire to? This recording from Dish is an example of podcast video done exceptionally well.

While you don’t necessarily have to pull out all the bells and whistles, if you can’t make quality video happen, you should choose a different approach. 

What skill sets should you have on board?

No matter what kind of visual you choose for your YouTube podcast, we recommend working with an editor who knows video inside and out. 

If you upload to YouTube exactly as is, you may encounter issues with function and flow, or end up leaving valuable content out of your show. 

For example, a long pause may be cut from the audio-only version because it feels awkward, but included in the video because it contains a meaningful gesture or look. 

Ultimately, we’re dealing with two distinct mediums, and you will need two distinct cuts of each episode.

If you choose to go with in-studio footage, you will also need…

  • A videographer
  • A lighting person
  • And maybe even a hair and makeup pro

This is, of course, on top of all of the team members you already need for an audio-only show.

Should you share segments or entire episodes?

Both of these options are popular among successful shows — and there’s a pretty strong case to be made for each approach. 

Here’s the case for segments…

  • Many experts say YouTube videos should land around the ten-minute mark
  • You may be able to hook folks that lean toward shorter content
  • And you might have an easier job when it comes to creating for YouTube

Here’s the case for full episodes…

  • YouTube is the top podcast consumption platform in the US and Canada overall 
  • If you earn ad revenue from YouTube, longer videos can increase those numbers
  • And you’ll avoid a second step for the folks that tune in and want the full episode

Both strategies have their advantages, and again, your choice should be tailored to your niche, brand, and show.

If you’re going to do it, do it well

Ultimately, we feel the same way about YouTube podcasts as we do about audio-only shows…

If you’re going to do it, you should absolutely do it well.

If you don’t have the bandwidth to execute effectively, we’d recommend sticking with Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other traditional audio platforms.

That said, with experts in YouTube and video production on your side, you should be able to go further, and offer more value with a multimedia and multiplatform show. 

Not sure if you should take the leap? Here’s a post to help you decide if you should put your brand’s podcast on YouTube at all. 

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JAR Audio is a full-service agency that solves brand problems with Original Podcasts.